This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a timely reminder of what they’re missing with a phenomenal performance for Belgium against Russia in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.
Of course, Frank Lampard’s men are doing well this season and currently sit third in the Premier League. They are eight points behind leaders Liverpool, though.
And Hazard turned in a showing befitting the kind of player that could help the Blues eat up that gap.
Not only did he score twice, but he also registered an assist as the 2018 World Cup hosts were blown away.
Per SofaScore, he completed five dribbles of the six he attempted, laid on three key passes, won eight of 10 ground duels and was fouled on three occasions.
Hazard also completed 100% of the long balls he attempted, with an 88% passing accuracy.
Chelsea have signed Christian Pulisic to replace Hazard but he simply doesn’t have the same kind of sledgehammer efficiency that the Belgian does.
He has scored five goals and registered two assists in the Premier League thus far this season, but Hazard, who is valued at £135m by Transfermarkt, has showed that he remains one of the best players in the world with this performance.
While his club form has not lit up La Liga since his move to Real Madrid – one goal and four assists in 11 games in all competitions – Hazard remains that elusive kind of player, the game-changer who can turn it on in an instant.
On Saturday, he reminded Lampard’s men of what they’re missing.
Of course, the former England midfielder is attempting to build a more cohesive unit that is less reliant on star power after Hazard scored 21 goals in all competitions and registered 17 assists in 2018/19.
But if they want to catch Liverpool, they need someone to step up on an individual basis and try to make lightning strike twice; a player like Hazard is exactly what they require.